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Veteran's Day, 2019; personal stories.

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  • Veteran's Day, 2019; personal stories.

    Another Veteran’s day, Dad.


    I still remember the night you left. You were on the last car leaving the station, and you came out on the little platform at the end of the train to wave at us one last time. The train pulled out slowly. But way too fast.


    The night before you left for Korea, you called. I was ecstatic and I told you about school, and everything. You told me to tell Grandma that you got her cookies, and they were good. All in 5 minutes. You had to go but you wanted to talk to Mom, so I said goodbye, and gave the phone to Mom.


    I read the paper every day about the “Police Action” in Korea. That’s what Truman called it. A Police Action. I followed the action closely. In school, I knew more about Korea than any one, even the Nuns! Uncle Ray was there, too. At Inchon. He was on a ship that bombarded Wolmi Doh that allowed the troops to get to the seashore. And the Chinese fell back and I was hopeful you’d come home soon. But that would not happen.


    On February 12, 1951, around midnight, the Chinese army attacked and turned the ROK troops on their left and drove them back into the positions your Company D was holding. The ROK troops broke and ran. You and Company D of the 38th Regiment, the Rock of the Marne, tried to stop them and get them to fight the Chinese. You were wounded. Aunt Lou felt it in her sleep and cried that night. You were taken prisoner and marched to Camp 1. There, with no medical treatment, you died on May 1, 1951.


    I am 80 now, Dad, but it seems you left just the day before yesterday, I got your call last night. I was 11 then.


    The Battle of Hoengsong lasted nearly 4 days. Nearby where you were, the Massacre took place. 726 men were killed in the battle.. There were about 1900 American casualties, and about 9,400 Korean casualties. It was the most lopsided American loss in the Korean Campaign.


    I looked for you when they repatriated the POWs because I did not give up hope you were coming home, Dad. I did not know for certain you had died.


    I don’t know what life would have been like for you or me and Mom had you come home. But wish to God I could have found out. I missed you, Dad. I will always miss you.


  • #2
    I had posted this on Facebook for my friends. I post it here because I am interested in your stories.

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    • #3
      Nice post Paladin, thank you

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